Airbnb: Reports it has suspended ban on West Bank listings 'inaccurate'

Airbnb is disputing Israeli media reports that the company is suspending the implementation of its policy to stop listing home rentals in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

"The reports issued earlier today are inaccurate," the company said.

Earlier Monday, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and other media in Israel reported that Airbnb announced it would not implement the policy. 

Airbnb told The Hill that the statement reported by Israeli media "was released in error" by Airbnb.


Haaretz reported that Airbnb made the announcement after sending its vice president, Chris Lehane, to meet with Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin on Monday in Israel.

"Airbnb expressed its unequivocal rejection of the BDS movement and communicated its commitment to develop its business in Israel, enabling more tourists from around the world to enjoy the wonders of the country and its people," the company said in a statement. 

"We are here to meet with a variety of stakeholders and as a result of our meetings have an even deeper understanding that this is an incredibly complex and emotional issue. Airbnb communicated that we are developing the tools needed to implement our policy and that process includes continuing our dialogue with the Government of Israel and other stakeholders.”

Levin, the tourism minister, earlier had called Airbnb’s decision to reportedly not implement the policy “a step in the right direction” and said he would “continue to make sure all Israeli citizens get equal treatment, and keep on strengthening tourism in Israel," Haaretz reported.

The decision comes after Airbnb announced last month that it wouldn't list rentals in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The United Nations has said that the settlements are not legal.

Airbnb said in a statement at the time of its original decision that the settlements "are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians."

"We know that people will disagree with this decision and appreciate their perspective. This is a controversial issue," Airbnb said at the time. "There are many strong views as it relates to lands that have been the subject of historic and intense disputes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank."

Updated at 5:06 p.m.